Inspired by this tutorial on Homemade by Jill, last weekend I bought two enormous bags of used crayons at my local thrift store for about $3.00--and this was what resulted...
My favorite? The crystals and rocks set you see above--it is the natural history nerd in me. All in all, those two bags of crayons yielded about 28 sets of molded crayons with 9-10 crayons per set. Made some tags up and they will be up for sale in my Etsy shop sometime this month--as well as selling some at No Coast.
Of course, this makes it all sound easy--and the melting of crayons and pouring them into molds is simple--but peeling the paper off crayons is pretty damn frustrating and labor-intensive since old used crayons tend to be pretty stuck in their wrappers--but about halfway through Mr Beeper stepped in with an industrial box-cutter and just started slicing all the crayons right out of the wrappers in a fraction of the time like a crayon-shelling ninja (thanks, babycakes!). I melted all of my crayons in a stainless steel kitchen bowl placed in a pan of boiling water on the stove, and this cleaned up fine with hot water and soap (albeit a little messy). Just be careful to not get any water in your melted crayons as this will cause them to harden with a grainy texture rather than being all shiny and happy and new looking. And in case you were wondering, all of my molds came from Bake It Pretty (about $2 apiece).
I highly recommend this--especially if you can find old used crayons since it is an awesome way to recycle unloved crayons (if you cannot find any at your thrift store, ask friends--who does not have a stash of these?--I admit I raided some of Beeper's older fat crayons he longer uses to add to the pile). Beeper loves them and has already selected a set of the animal crayons for himself. And me, I am already thinking about the future valentine's favors that might result...or who might appreciate these for Christmas amongst the little people I know.